Words: ACFC Media
Monday 2 March 2020
PAPEETE, Tahiti - Auckland City FC have started the OFC Champions League in top form after they thrashed Fijian giants Ba 6-0 at a rain-soaked Stade Pater in Tahiti.
Two goals from Emiliano Tade and another by Jordan Vale ensured the Navy Blues enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 halftime lead before New Zealand internationals Myer Bevan and Logan Rogerson added one each in the second half to complete the scoring.
Coach Jose Figueira was pleased with the result after his team's final training session was cancelled because of rain.
"The first game is always tricky and the conditions played a bit of a part today. Our team showed big hunger and a fantastic attitude and if we have that then our quality can come through like we showed tonight.
"We knew the first two matches were going to very very difficult and we had a tough test tonight. We look forward to watching AS Venus and we'll have a big preparation for what will be a big challenge - we have to be ready," he told TNTV.
It was the third meeting between the two clubs with the Ricki Herbert-coached Govind Park-based Fijians yet to pick up a win, a milestone they never looked likely to mark in difficult conditions in Papeete.
Vale opened the scoring with a clever finish on the half hour mark to calm any anxieties Auckland City FC may have had after they surrendered their 49-game unbeaten domestic run just prior to the start of the OFC Champions League.
Tade doubled the advantage with his first goal in this competition since 29 April 2018 when he netted against Team Wellington at Kiwitea Street.
The Argentina was soon in the act again when he slotted home a brilliant cutback by Bevan to extend the lead to 3-0 just on the stroke of halftime.
Rogerson scored ten minutes after the restart, Bevan scored his first at this level to make it 5-0 midway through the second half and Vanuatu international Brian Kaltack rubbed salt into Fijian wounds when he found the net with just six minutes left on the clock.
The 6-0 winning margin was one better than Auckland City FC's biggest ever victory over Ba on 5 May 2013 when two goals from Manel Exposito, Tade, Darren White and Mario Bilen gave the Navy Blues a 6-1 semi-final victory en route to their fifth continental title.
In the day's other Group D match, AS Venus face off against Samoa's Lupe Ole Soaga.
OFC Champions League - Group D
Monday 2 March, 2020
Auckland City FC 6 (Jordan VALE 30', Emiliano TADE 39', 45+1', Logan ROGERSON 59', Myer BEVAN 71', Brian KALTACK 84')
AC: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 5. Angel BERLANGA (c), 6. Brian KALTACK, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Myer BEVAN, 11. Tom DOYLE, 13. Emiliano TADE ( 10. Dylan MANICKUM 71'), 14. Jordan VALE (17. Andrew BLAKE 64'), 20. Logan ROGERSON (22. Clayton LEWIS 64'), 23. Alfie ROGERS.
SUBS NOT USED: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Mario BILEN, 8. Albert RIERA.
COACH: Jose FIGUEIRA.
CAUTIONS: Brian KALTACK, Mario ILICH, Clayton LEWIS.
Tu 12 Dec 2023, Al Ittihad, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, KO: 9.00pm local